[Wikipedia-l] Languages

Merritt L. Perkins mlperkins3 at juno.com
Wed Aug 27 04:11:07 UTC 2003

What languages? All languages! Do you mean that you want to include
Encyclopedia articles on all languages. There are so many obscure
languages that you cannot expect to include them all.
What languages should the Encyclopedia be translated into? I think that
you should choose languages that would have many readers. High German,
French and Spanish for example. There is a difference between this French
spoken in France and in Canada, in the Spanish spoken in Spain and in
Mexico. There are special characters used to write the languages. 
Basque, Maori, and Manx would have few readers. The language should be
easily written from a computer keyboard. This would exclude Arabic and
Chinese. There must be some way to write them but I don’t know how. It
may require a special keyboard and software. 
The head of the modern language department of a large German university
may be fluent in several languages and able to teach about subjects from
the Kavala to Xenophon’s Anabasis. He may have served in the Army and be
familiar with Army terminology and idioms, but not familiar with
submarines, ships, or airplanes.
The translator should be a native speaker thoroughly familiar with the
subject of the article and may choose to write his own article instead of
translating the existing article.
I find no objection to including articles written or translated into
Icelandic, Hungarian, or any other language even though there would be
few readers. Readers need to know where to find them 
Merritt L. Perkins

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